E36/E46 Front Differential Bushing Install Instructions
General Info: E36 has 1 front diff bushing and the E46 has 2 front diff bushings, left and right side
Tools Needed: e Torx sockets, normal metric sockets, 3/8 drive ratchet, wrenches
Materials/Supplies Needed: Degreaser, shop towels, jack, jack stands, automotive lift (if applicable)
Safety Info: Be sure to have a second person assist you in removing the differential (it's heavy) if you are not able to do it by yourself. Make sure to use safety glasses when underneath the car as to avoid getting debris in your eyes.
Let's get started!
Step 1: Jack the rear of your car up high enough for you to be able to work underneath it. Once jacked up in the air, place your jack-stands in a secure location on the chassis to hold the rear end up, then give the car a wiggle to make sure its securely on its jack-stands.
Step 2: Begin by removing your speed sensor from your differential (if you have one). Then remove your four driveshaft to differential flange bolts, the easiest way is to have another person raise the e-brake and put the transmission in gear while you break loose each bolt, then have them release the e-brake and take the transmission out of gear so you can rotate the driveshaft and access the rest of the bolts to remove them.
Step 3: Remove your rear swaybar, it is only mostly necessary to remove your sway bar brackets from your chassis and not the end links as you can then push your sway-bar upwards and zip-tie it. This is necessary to access your rear differential mounting bolts with a socket and ratchet.
Step 4: At the rear of the differential, break loose your two rear differential mounting bolts but don't remove them just yet. Now grab your e Torx socket and remove your differential half-shaft bolts very carefully! The Torx head bolts are easy to round if you aren't careful due to your bolts typically being caked up with road debris. The CV boots can get in the way of accessing the Torx bolts, make sure to have your socket securely on the bolt when attempting to remove it. Once you've removed your half-shafts you're ready to move onto the next step.
Step 5: At the front of your differential there will be one last bolt holding your differential in (two if you have an E46). Break the bolt(s) loose first, then place your jack under the differential, preferably with a piece of wood. Remove the front bolt(s) carefully. Then remove your rear bolts holding your differential to the subframe.
Step 6: Be very careful removing your differential as it is very heavy! Wiggle out your differential using a jack or have a buddy help you manhandle it out of your subframe, but be very careful not to hurt yourself!
Step 7: Once you have your differential out you can now get to replacing your front differential bushing. Using a bushing removal tool(clamp), press out your old bushing. Then press in your new bushing using your bushing removal tool (insert bushing through the front of the hole, the lip on aluminum bushing needs to be facing outward towards the front of the car). Using installation grease will aid in getting the new aluminum bushing in, and make sure the bushing is parallel (straight) when being pressed in otherwise the bushing can become contorted.
Step 8: Once the bushing is pressed in, reinstall the differential. Using the jack again (or a buddy) wiggle the differential back into the subframe. Firstly line up the driveshaft and thread your 4 nuts back onto the driveshaft bolts but don't torque them just yet. Next, at the rear reinsert the two bolts that fasten the differential to the subframe and torque to spec (E36 is 57 ft-lbs). Then install your front differential bushing bolt and torque to spec (e36 is 70 ft-lbs). Now with the differential held in place, you can remove the jack and push it out of the way. Then line up your axles and hand thread the Torx bolts in all the way. Torque spec for M8 Torx bolts are 47 ft-lbs, M10 Torx bolts are 74 ft-lbs. Now you can torque your driveshaft bolts/nuts, torque spec is 59 ft-lbs if you have M10 ribbed nuts, or 44 ft-lbs if you have compressed nuts.
Step 9: Lastly reinstall your speed sensor if your car has one, go over everything one last time to make sure everything was installed correctly and you are ready to go test out your new differential bushing!
This instructional guide is intended to provide general information only. We recommend a professional automotive technician install any of our products. In no event shall Garagistic be liable for any special, direct, indirect, consequential, incidental injuries or damages whatsoever.